Blocked road poses a risk
YAMBA Rd quickly becomes the road to nowhere when it is blocked by a crash, as was made evident when a three-vehicle accident halted traffic on Wednesday afternoon.
And for Dick Richards the incident raised a serious concern he has held for many years.
What happens if Yamba Rd is blocked, if one of the bridges collapses or there is a very serious accident?
There are no short-term plans to ensure Yamba can always be accessed in the case of an emergency.
Mr Richards said plans to remedy this problem were drawn up many years ago, when the area fell under Maclean Shire Council.
The idea was to build a second road from Palmers Channel to Oyster Channel Bridge where a second bridge would be put in.
"And they actually surveyed the bridge, which I know because it came right into my front yard," Mr Richards said.
He said a crash involving a fuel tanker or during the peak holiday period would block traffic.
During his time as a journalist at The Daily Examiner he had asked the council what contingencies were in place during such emergencies and only ever received vague answers.
But Clarence Valley Mayor Richie Williamson said there was no short-term plan to build a second road in or out of Yamba.
He said council had long-term plans to develop a bypass from near the Oyster Channel Bridge.
"Long term, Yamba Rd is essentially a State Government responsibility and obviously council's long-term planning suggests there will be growth in Yamba," he said.
"But in the next two to three years there will be no construction."
The RMS was contacted but said any calls should be directed to council as it was a council responsibility.
Cr Williamson said while Mr Richards's concern about the town being cut off in an emergency was valid, it was a problem also facing Wooli, Minnie Water, Brooms Head, Iluka and even Grafton if there was an accident on the bridge.
"So there is a risk but that risk is managed by emergency services."